Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hall is abusing his power

Shame on Randy Hall. The power he holds as mayor of Ketchum does not extend to compromising freedom of speech or the press, as he did when he contacted the manager of station KSKI to complain that reporter Sue Bailey had a conflict of interest. The implication is that she lacked objectivity because her brother Chip Bailey is a candidate for the Ketchum City Council.

As a result, she has been limited by the station to reporting only the results of the Blaine County elections. Does the station have another reporter who can cover the election? If not, then the citizenry has only one source to cover this event, which is highly unfortunate.

Was there not a question from the audience asking about local businesses' fear of intimidation and retribution by the current administration? This appears to be a good example.

Elaine Charlat


Editor's note: The Express called Hall and KECH to ask them what might have led to the radio station's decision to not cover local elections. Hall said he called the KECH manager and complained about inaccuracies in the station's reporting on Ketchum city government. He said he told KECH he felt he was being misrepresented and wanted equal time on the radio to set the record straight.

KECH did not respond to our request for an explanation. Hall said the manager told him that the station wanted to be neutral and would not offer opinions or political views. He said the station told him it would address his complaint.

Hall said he "had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome" of KECH's decision to have its reporter not cover elections and did not complain about a conflict of interest in Sue Bailey covering the campaign of her brother.

"That's an obvious conflict, but that wasn't the reason I called to complain," he said.

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